Former Minister Srinivas Gowda is facing a formidable rebel
KOLAR: Though most rebel candidates have withdrawn from the contest, rebellion is discernible in some constituencies of Kolar and Chickballapur districts. Though the Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) have heaved a sigh of relief following the withdrawal of rebels from the fray, the latter, who are contesting as independents, seem poised to give sleepless nights to some official candidates.
It was particularly so in the headquarters of the two districts. While R. Varthur Prakash remains in the fray against the former Minister K. Srinivas Gowda, official nominee of the Congress in Kolar Assembly segment, it is G.H. Nagaraj against the Congress candidate S.V. Ashwathnarayan Reddy in Chickballapur constituency.
Despite the Congress’ attempt to play down the presence of Mr. Varthur Prakash in Kolar, the latter is considered as a formidable rival to the official candidate. Not heeding the advice of the party leadership, Mr. Varthur Prakash has chosen to remain in the fray saying he will give a tough fight to the three-time MLA, Mr. Srinivas Gowda.
“My social work in the constituency which includes distributing free books to poor students, financial aid to women’s self-help groups are the basis for my confidence,” says Mr. Varthur Prakash.
Besides, the hold over the Kolar City Municipal Council, which is being ruled by supporters of Mr. Varthur Prakash, is expected to give an edge to the latter in the urban area tilting the balance in his favour, according to political observers.
“Voters are wise and aware about the evils of the role of money power in politics,” was the argument put forth by Mr. Srinivas Gowda’s camp.
Chickballapur is another constituency where the Congress is likely to feel the heat of rebellion. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) member G.H. Nagaraj, a close relative of MP, R.L. Jalappa, has preferred to remain in the fray as an independent.
Though the withdrawal by another KPCC member, C. Anjanappa, from the fray has provided some respite to the Congress leadership, Mr. Nagaraj’s presence is expected to pester it in the constituency.
In Malur too, the former MLA, A. Nagaraj, has raised the banner of revolt.
He is pitted against J. Krishna Sing, official nominee of the Congress. Block Congress president R. Ashok remains in the fray against the Congress candidate N.H. Shivshankar Reddy in Gowribidnur.
Doddachowdappa is the rebel candidate of the Congress in Mulbagal constituency. Social worker S.N. Subba Reddy’s withdrawal in Bagepalli too has reduced to some extent the burden of dissidence in the Congress. Likewise, Ramachandrappa’s withdrawal in Kolar Gold Field (Scheduled Castes) segment has brought back the smiles on the faces of senior Congress leaders.
The presence of rebels is likely to affect the Congress in at least a couple of constituencies.
Though the BJP and the Janata Dal (S) too encountered revolt initially in the two districts, it [rebellion] has melted down gradually.